BY GENE NARDI
The Wellington High School varsity football squad defeated the West Broward Bobcats in a 23-0 shutout before a capacity homecoming crowd Friday, Sept. 20.
Wellington needed the victory to bring the team’s record back up. It was a combined effort by the Wolverine offense, defense and special teams that carried them through the night.
The Wolverines (2-2) initially went three-and-out on their first possession. On their second possession, they marched down the field, and Alex Ng’s 26-yard field goal put Wellington on the board 3-0 early in the first quarter.
West Broward would only break into Wellington territory twice during the contest. The Wolverines’ swarming defense kept the Bobcats off balance all night, including three interceptions in the first half.
Yellow flags found their way to the turf frequently during the game for the Wellington offense as two touchdowns were called back on the Wolverines. Although the Wellington offense put together more than 300 yards in offense, they split that in total penalty yardage.
Wellington’s offense continued to grind out yards and points. Quarterback Cole Smallridge connected with tight end Calvin Howe on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Alex Ng’s point-after extended the lead to 10-0.
Smallridge connected a second time, this time to Kyle Branch on a 15-yard touchdown pass, to put the Wolverines up 17-0 at the half.
The Wolverines added one more score in the second half, when Smallridge found an open Jean Rene on a 53-yard touchdown pass. The point after was no good, and the score would remain 23-0 to give the Wolverines the homecoming victory.
“We increased the intensity at practice, reps, reps and reps,” coach Thomas Abel said. “We had a much better week of practice than we did before the South Fork game, but we have to work on the penalties.”
Smallridge was 7 of 15 for 190 yards passing. “We had a different energy this week, and the line helped us out,” Smallridge said.
Defensive back Ahmmon Richards had another big game with two interceptions and several big returns on special teams. He continues to be a threat on the gridiron. “I just come out and try to make plays while I’m out on the field,” Richards said.
Running back Matt Sabatino had 14 carries for 85 yards. “Our line trained hard this week and opened some holes tonight,” Sabatino said.
Wellington next travels to Spanish River High School on Friday, Sept. 27 for a 7 p.m. game.
ABOVE: Running back Matt Sabatino finds room to sprint up field.